An Egyptian microcosm in Sudan reconstructed

New video about Julia Budka’s FWF and ERC project AcrossBorders

The focus of the FWF START and ERC project AcrossBorders was on the site of Sai Island in northern Sudan. New fieldwork at the Egyptian town on the island is presented in this new short film. 3D reconstructions by the architect Ingrid Adenstedt illustrate the recent advances in the study of the architecture of Egyptian towns in the New Kingdom (c. 1530-1070 BC). Various analyses of the material remains, especially the ceramics, were conducted and yielded new insights into Sai’s regional and trans-regional networks and its heydays. Of special importance are new finds by the AcrossBorders project in the pyramid cemetery SAC5 on Sai, including the discovery of the burial of a chief goldsmith named Khnummose.

As outstanding result of the project, the original hypothesis of Sai Island as an Egyptian microcosm outside of Egypt could be confirmed. However, the old theory of strict boundaries between Nubians and Egyptians, and social stratification based on origin, could be disproved. It can be replaced by the metaphor of cultural entanglement in a complex two-way mixture of lifestyles. Sai became home not only for Egyptians, but also for Nubians who intermingled with the Egyptian “colonialists”.